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January 2011 in Tanzania through the eyes of an Englishman

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Pretty Plant.

31/1/2011 - January Gone Already.

I have spent the day head-down working on 1975. This history stuff is hard work, and consequently I don't have that much to say about the here and now.

The situation in Egypt continues to be fascinating. Really, nobody has any idea still about how it will turn out. It's tempting to hope that the protesters will get what they want, but you also have to remember the old adage 'be careful what you wish for'.

They say that old men are dangerous, because we don't care what happens to the world, but maybe Mubaraq knows his country and is playing a clever game that we don't fully understand yet.

It was cloudy and quite windy here today. Perhaps our recent hot spell is breaking. Sorry if my post is boring, but I am exhausted.

Must not forget two departures though: my ex-wife and good friend Lynn's father in law age 85, and composer John Barry age 77 - RIP.

Clouds of Uncertainty.

28/1/2011 - The Armageddon Scenario.

It's Friday, and we've just been out for chicken and chips, and in my case beer, so please either forgive, or comment on, my lapses in logic.

I think there may be people in the US State Department who are pissing their pants today. Also it would not surprise me if sometime in the future we saw Wikileaks items detailing diplomatic messages to Egypt's president Mubaraq saying "Hold the line at all costs - disregard what we say on the TV."

If the 'rebellion' in Egypt succeeds in toppling Mubaraq, then it would be reasonable to expect relatively free elections to follow. If that were the case, then it's likely that the Muslim Brotherhood - banned, but already the dominant opposition group in terms of numbers - would sooner rather than later become the ruling party.

I'm sure that at first, that they would show all the signs of enlightenment. But the right wing of the movement would quickly move to suggest a more fundamental Islamic constitution. Leaders on the left would meet with unfortunate accidents, or simply be killed, and before you knew it there'd be yet another fundamentalist Islamic republic controlled by extremist mullahs.

I could then postulate a domino effect. Iraq could quite quickly follow suite once the US troops were entirely withdrawn, and Lebanon is already on that course. Afghanistan will probably fall back to the Taliban regardless, and states to its north and north-west could easily go the same way. A block like that would already have the industrialized nations over a barrel in terms of oil supplies

The pressure would then be intense on Saudi Arabia, and it's difficult to see that it could resist for long, at which point the oil trump card would become complete.

Long before then, the Israelis would feel that their very existence as a state was under intolerable threat. The west would be in panic about oil supplies, and it would not be long before some joker terrorist group thought it would be clever to stage some atrocity at the town of Megiddo - close to Mt Armageddon ...

Unusual ingredients.

27/1/2011 - Variations on Breakfast.

I have, since 2006, been depriving myself of traditional bacon. Adia doesn't want it in the fridge, and if I eat it I am likely to be shunned - at least short term, as if it was poisonous and/or contagious.

All that time I knew there was 'beef bacon' available at the supermarket. But I had been ignoring it on the grounds that it was a contradiction in terms. Bacon is made from pig meat isn't it?

Eventually, my craving was such that I weakened and tried it. To my surprise, it tasted a lot like bacon. It's cured the same way, with nitrite and so on, and coincidentally, it has less fat, since it is cut from a completely lean joint of beef. My son Richard confirmed that I was not entirely deluding myself.

So now my breakfast alternatives have been augmented, and I'm running on a cycle including (not necessarily in order):

  • Bacon/fried bread sandwich and a little fruit,
  • Sautéed tomatoes and beef frankfurter,
  • Two soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers,
  • Last night's corned beef hash - when available,
  • Adia's Beans on toast - when available,
  • Egg foo yung, or omelette, with pili-pili and toast,
  • Cereal with cashew nuts and raisins,
  • Laughing Cow cheese spread on toast followed by marmalade or wild honey on toast,
  • Bacon, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, sausage, and toast (if I'm feeling indestructible),
  • Melted Cheddar cheese on toast,
  • Cheese soup made with the same Cheddar - and toast.
I should expand this list to include oat porridge with wild honey and fruit on the side. It's a hard life doing justice to all the possibilities.

Another breakfast feature is a Tanzanian augmentation to the meal. Adia introduced me to the idea of making either tea or coffee with water in which some Lemon Grass has been boiled. If you can get Lemon Grass, you should try it.

Meals like these, and eating at lunchtime during 'the visit', as well as Adia's cooking - and occasionally mine - of the evening meal have not been without effect. They probably account for the fact that my figure, of late, has become distinctly reminiscent of Homer Simpson.

I'm trying to get myself back into a work regime. Today I put in the lighting wiring for the girl helpers room, and fitted a steel frame to go around the mini-bathroom-toilet in there. I think it will be quite a pleasant room when it is finished.

By then, maybe I'll be a few ounces lighter.

Tool of Democracy?

25/1/2011 - Negotiate?

According to BBC World, Iranian authorities have hanged two men convicted of taking part in protests following the disputed presidential election in 2009.

Iranian prosecutors said Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei had taken photos and footage of the protests and distributed them on the internet.

They were also found guilty of chanting slogans promoting the exiled People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI).

Iran is basically controlled by a committee of Islamic Clerics, so presumably this sort of crime and punishment regime is deemed by them to be Islamic. Why even try to negotiate with a regime like that?

Black Faced Monkey.

24/1/2011 - More Wildlife.

Seems like the the wildlife is now watching us rather than the other way round. This morning we had a visit to our compound as per the picture. The picture is from the Serengeti - I didn't have time to get the camera for ours.

Unfortunately, the dogs were out at the time, so the visit was brief. the monkey ran along the top of the wall and climbed up the water tower where he was well out of reach. After a few minutes on top there, he jumped down to the wall again and then into the field at the other side.

There are a group of them that live in a compound about 500m away. He could easily have been a young male from there looking to set up household by stealing one of the females. But I think the dogs will have put him off our place, unless of course he is used to dogs.

I put a banana on top of the wall where he entered as an enticement, but it is still there, so I guess he has moved on. It's probably just as well, since he and his buddies would certainly steal my figs, and the passion fruit, and they would probably eat the contents of the vegetable garden. But they are cute.

While I am here, and having been to the Serengeti, I'll take the opportunity to be pedantic. While I was waiting for 'the visit' I dug out the Toto song 'Africa' from 1982, and used it to wake the visitors up on their first morning.

Having been to the Serengeti, and looked at the maps, and seen Kilimanjaro from our house, I can tell you that Kilimanjaro does not 'rise like an empress' above the Serengeti. I'm pretty sure that you can't see it from any point in the Serengeti plain - it is much too far to the east, the Earth is a sphere, and there are the Ngorongoro crater and other mountains in between. But I still like the song - I can put up with a little poetic license.

Puffer Fish.

23/1/2011 - A Tropical Seaside Break.

Quicker than promised, I have done a piece about the beach trip we made, it's at Adia's Place: A Tropical Seaside Break.

Since I have spent all day doing that I have even less to say about other happenings of the day than yesterday.

Baby Baboons.

22/1/2011 - A Safari Tale.

It's very quiet here - just the two of us. But anyway, I have spent some time trying to write a record of our safari to the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro, and have posted it today under Adia's Place: A Safari Tale. I hope you enjoy it.

A considerable part of the work was wading through the approximately 2000 digital images that we recorded between us on our trip. Remembering what we did and saw was quite easy - it was indeed memorable.

I shall do a similar thing for the beach trip we made, but I'll probably take a days break first.

There's not much else. The bananas, figs, and passion fruits are coming on nicely, and the garden is looking good after quite frequent showers. It is hot here in Arusha (US and UK readers - sorry about that.)

Before the last supper.

20/1/2011 - Kwaheri and Karibu Tanzania.

There is a previous post for this date, so if you are unfortunate enough to be a BEV addict, you might want to click the Posts: Older button. But then, OK, our holiday is essentially over - just a last supper remaining - sad but true. There is much cooking going on, and we just took the group photograph. Harry will drive us back to the airport at about 19:00

Now, or sasa as it goes in Swahili, if you should be mildly tempted by anything that I have said, or any of the pictures, you should visit the Adia's Place Serengeti, Ngorongoro, or Pangani pages. They are not there yet, but will emerge over the next few days. Lots of work. I have to choose few pictures from hundreds, and scale them for the web, and come up with some sort of grand design. But bear with me, it will happen!

Both Adia and I will be very sad to see our guests go. It has been like old times for me, and in some weird way I think Adia has shared that. I will definitely have to save up now so she can visit England.

We can organize a similar trip for you, with the same players, and a similar welcome, and I'll put some cost estimates on the Adia's Place page soon.

It has been a big thing for me to see my chilldren - Rachel, come as soon as it suits you, we will kill the fatted calf. Our facilities have now been tested by mzungus who I can be sure will speak their minds, and have spoken.

BEV readers - welcome to Tanzania.

Our banda.

The beach.

20/1/2011 - Winding Down.

So on the 17th we took off to the coast. Getting there was a bit of a pain - it's a six and a half hour drive to the nearest coastal town in Tanzania, Tanga. Then the place we were staying was another half hour down the dirt coast road. It's generally the case that any place worth going to involves travel pain.

Once Adia had got over some initial reservations about there being nobody in reception, and we'd forgotten the seven hour journey, everyone loved the place. There was no time for doing much the first day. We took a quick look at the beach and showered, then it was soon dinner time. The food was great. Most of us ate the seafood platter - Zoe's a vegetarian and doesn't eat fish. I can safely say that it was the best I have ever had. Crayfish, squid, octopus, grilled fish fillet, and prawns.

We had two bandas - a single one, which in my interpretation was a double, since it had a large double bed, and a family one which had the same large bed, and a partitioned off area with four single beds. Richard and Zoe had the single banda, and Adia and me shared the family one with Leo. It was hot at night when the onshore breeze died down, but there were plenty of fans, and I think we all slept pretty well.

The next day we went snorkelling over the reef, and then picnicked on a sand island about 2km from the shore. I failed miserably with the snorkelling. The flippers destroyed by ability to swim with confidence, but I could not swim without them because there were sharp corals that you would hit if you trod water. The mask leaked and filled with water, and I began to feel somewhat asthmatic, so I abandoned the attempt. But everyone else really enjoyed it. Adia does not swim with confidence so she used a life jacket, which I suppose is what I should have done, but stubborn pride would not allow.

Dinner that night was equally good. We had more of a mixture - Adia, crayfish and salad; me fillet steak with mashed potatoes; Leo, crabs (3 quite large); Rik, fish masala; Zoe, salad and chips.

On our return day we drove to Pangani, the nearest coastal village, but it didn't really have anything to offer, so we backtracked to Tanga, a medium sized town in a great location, that with a little investment and effort could be a great tourist resort, but as it stands does not have much to offer either. So we got some lunch there and set off back to Arusha.

We got back by about 21:30, went for a Chinese meal again, then went to bed exhausted by the journey. Now the girls have gone into town, and Richard and I are burning DVDs of the many many pictures that we have all taken. When we've done that we're going for a beer - it's very hot in Arusha today.

Adia and Me Above the Endless Plain.

Wake Me When It's the End of Our Shift.

16/1/2011 - Serengeti Quick Report.

In a few words, expensive, but brilliant.

I got some loaves early in the morning on Friday, so I was able to make a packed lunch of tuna mayonnaise sandwiches and tomatoes. Then we drove all the way to the west side of the Serengeti, starting at about 08:30 and arriving at the hotel, or 'safari lodge' at about 18:30.

By the time we'd got there we had seen just about every animal that you'd hope to see except for close-up elephants, rhino, leopard, and cheetah. Along with the animals came some remarkable scenery - mountains, valleys, and craters on a grand scale, and the green close-cropped plain stretching apparently endlessly in all directions.

The hotel was very pleasant, if perhaps a little dated. But anything with 'safari lodge' in the title is very expensive. It's like switching from being in Arusha to being in London. A 500ml bottle of beer costs TS1500 in Arusha. At the hotel, a 330ml bottle (a size unknown elsewhere in Tanzania) cost TS4500.

On the next day we got our leopard, lots of close-up elephants, and a whole heap of lions. Today in the Ngorongoro Crater we got our cheetah, and a jackal catching a rabbit only to narrowly miss getting it taken away by a hyena, and the sleepy lion who liked the shade of a Land Cruiser.

Having learned to use my eyes, on the way back I saw wild animals in the parts of the country where I didn't think there were any. I have lots more to say, and between all of us there are several hundreds of pictures that I hope we can make into some organized kind of presentation. Right now I'm going to sleep, so I'll catch you later.

A Gray Day.

14/1/2011 - Late and Early.

We're off on a safari to the Serengeti today, and we're not going to be outstandingly well organized.

Last night we went to Via Via, where there's a band and dancing every Thursday. It's the sort of place you don't go until after 22:00, and don't leave much before two. Now it's already 07:15, and we're supposed to get ready, have breakfast, and make a packed lunch before the Land Cruiser comes at 08:00. For some reason, I don't feel all that organized.

The packed lunch is going to be a problem, since we only have enough bread for breakfast. I guess we'll have to forage as we go through town if there's anywhere open by then.

The visitors.

12/1/2011 - All Present and Correct.

The time has flown away since Saturday. My son Richard, his fiancé Zoe, and my daughter Leo (Leonora) arrived half an hour early on the KLM flight into KIA on Sunday night. Harry, whose company provided the minibus for the airport pickup, turned up as its driver, thanks again Harry.

Thinking in terms of long-flight dehydration I had made two soups - tomato soup and potato, avocado and cheese soup. When we got home we ate those with brown bread and wine or beer, and talked until quite late.

Monday we walked around our village, then went into town to look at the main market, and the second hand clothes market - posh tourism destinations. Then we went to the shopping centre at Njiro to get something to eat before doing the plant nurseries. In the evening Adia made African food - Kageran green bananas from our garden with beans which we ate with stir fried tenderloin bought at the market when we were there. It was good.

Yesterday we walked further afield. Up ESAMI hill for a start for some aerobic exercise, and then across the river into Synon, and from there into town by daladala. Then we did the big craft market in town - Richard and I opted out on that.

Another daladala got us home, then we had a beer at the Silver Springs before doing a Chinese at the Gymkhana Club with Harry and our current guest Nicholas.

It's not clear what we'll do today. It's a public holiday today, and there may be trouble between the police and CHADEMA brewing again in town. Nicholas is driving into town to see what is going on and will report back.

Richard has promised to do a guest BEV posting - he's taking notes on the visit. So perhaps I'll make him do that after breakfast before we do anything else. By then we'll have a better idea of what's going on.

Toad Hall.

Nest Box.

8/1/2011 - Last Bits and Pieces.

It's 'V-Day' tomorrow, though only quite late in the day. The visitors get into KIA nominally at 21:30. So we're unlikely to get them home before eleven, and then by the time they've had a bite to eat they'll probably be ready to crash. Still, tomorrow it is!

The toad that lives on our veranda has now dug such a large burrow in the plant pot where it hides that it will inevitably kill the plant, which is already looking a mess. So today I made a toad box and evicted him into that. It's just a simple wooden box with a sliding back that I can remove to clean it out if this should be required, or add moisture as was done to the plant pot. Inside there's a margarine tub with a side cut away and some moist soil inside. The toad seems OK with it, when I'd pushed it in through the door it quickly made its way into the tub. We will see if it settles there.

I had also noticed that there were small birds looking or gaps between the metal roof sheets and the supporting wood. To try and encourage them to live somewhere else, I also made two nest boxes and attached them to the compound wall opposite the house. I've had no takers yet, and if I do, chances are it will be some other kind of bird, and the original birds will nest in the roof space anyway.

Adia is out getting Potter serviced and hopefully doing something about the telescopic dampers that hold up the rear hatch flap when it's open. Then tonight I'll probably be agitating to eat out again - something to do in the evening.

Development of the Sweet Bananas.

7/1/2011 - Readiness.

I think we are about there in terms of our preparations for 'the visit'. The big room got its furniture back in place today, and the kitchen sorted out after the painting. I gave the wooden furniture items a coat of wax polish, and put the pictures back on the walls. The place is looking quite presentable.

If it looks like we can afford it, the exterior of the South House will get painted too so that all the buildings are the same colour. As I have said, the painter we've got is so careful that there is little in the way of mess or disruption. I was looking at both of the small houses today to check if there were things that needed to be done, and came away from both of them with my usual feeling. "This is a really nice little house - I could live here!"

I'm quite excited about the event, and both Adia and I are keen to make a really good impression so that my children will feel that there is a place here they can come to any time and think of as a safe and welcoming home from home. Who knows, I may see my granddaughters here in another year.

CHADEMA Marchers in Arusha.

6/1/2011 - Unwarranted Police Violence.

In December there was a mayoral election in Arusha, which was fixed by the simple subterfuge of calling a meeting without adequate notice to the city councillors and importing inappropriate voters. The result was that a CCM mayor was elected in a city with a majority of CHADEMA councillors. At that time CHADEMA had stated that if the government took no action over this by 5th January, a large scale protest meeting would be held.

The government have remained silent on the subject, so CHADEMA applied for a permit to march from various starting points to a central football ground. Permission was denied by the Regional Police Commissioner, who apparently gave permission only for the meeting at the football ground.

Riot police then attacked the crowd there with tear gas and night sticks. There was some resistance and stone throwing and there are widespread rumours of fatalities on both sides. There was nothing about this on the state TV channel news today. Police have since confirmed - AFP - that two people were killed by gunshot wounds, and nine were injured. 49 CHADEMA members were arrested including most, if not all, of the party leadership.

One would have thought that it would be a fairer and more peaceful way of conducting business in a democracy if the legality of the mayoral election had simply been referred to the courts. On the other hand, since there is no separation between the judiciary and the executive, the result in that case would have been a foregone conclusion.

There is more from the BBC and Reuters South Africa.

The Killed.

The Killer.

5/1/2011 - Intolerance.

Pakiistan's blasphemy law states that defaming Muhammad merits death with or without a fine, and it appears to be the law in Pakistan that persons convicted under this charge must be sentenced to death with or without a fine. (Do they have to pay before they are killed I wonder?)

On Friday, an Islamic cleric apparently offered Rs 500,000 reward (about $6000) for anyone who kills Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. "I will give Rs 500,000 to a person who killed Aasia," the prayer leader of the historic Masjid Mohabbat Khan, Maulana Yousaf Qureshi told a JI protest rally organised against calls for amendments in the blasphemy law and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s struggle to have the woman pardoned. The cleric also appealed to the Taliban Pakistan to kill Aasia. He asked the group to carry out the killing instead of bombing other places.

Salman Taseer - the governor of Punjab - who had called for Aasia to be pardoned, was killed yesterday by one of his bodyguards. The others apparently stood and watched while the killer put two magazines into Taseer's back. I don't give much for the chances of the Christian woman. Even worse I expect that the killer and his accomplices will get away with it.

The USA and the UK both give aid to Pakistan, and attempt to maintain it as an ally. There should possibly be blasphemy laws that apply to US politicians who take actions that deny the spirit of the constitution, and against British MPs who similarly disregard the country's traditions of tolerance. To be fair, an anonymous person in the United States has offered $10,000 for anyone who kills the cleric Maulana Yousef Qureshi until such time as he withdraws his reward for the killing of Aasia Bibi.

There are moderates in Pakistan who hold the tolerant and forward-looking views that I expect of the UK and the USA. Perhaps unfortunately, they too have similar views about using violence - that it is wrong. The Islamists there, on the other hand, clearly have no such scruples. Any level of violence is justified to prevent the spread of free thinking.

Under these circumstances it seems to me inevitable that Pakistan - already pretty bankrupt in economic terms, and with a political system in danger of disintegration - will quickly descend into being a nuclear failed state similar to Afghanistan, and the primary haven of Islamic jihadists. Negotiation with, propping up, and persuasion of the elected government is pointless. They can't deliver anything. Their powers are notional and can not be exercised. Aid should stop - there are more deserving targets. It is also arguable that since Pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons, which as things are going will almost certainly fall into the hands of extremists, much more violent action is required.

Banana Flower.

Ripe Passion Fruits.

3/1/2011 - On Hold Now.

OK, so I've fixed up the music links, and I've finished the small table for the gas stove. I put a coat of varnish on it earlier this afternoon, so it should be ready for use sometime late tomorrow.

So now I'm pretty much in holding mode. No more jobs until after 'the visit'. Jobs always cost money - materials and so on, and I'm trying so save that so we won't have to skimp. Maybe I'll be able to get a couple of retrospective years finished before the weekend.

Our various active fruit trees/vines are doing quite well. There are two trees of the Kagera Green Banana with ripening fruit at the moment, and the one other type of banana tree we have - a sweet banana variety, also from Kagera - is on its way to producing. The fig tree is sprouting quite a number of figs - about 20 that I can see at the moment. Not all the branches have started yet, so that number could easily double. I'll do a picture of them when they have got a bit bigger before I surround them with chicken wire or a net.

The Passion Fruit vine is setting lots of fruit. Unfortunately a fair proportion of it is hanging over the outer wall of the compound as I already noted. Passion fruits are ripe when they drop off the vine, and at that point passers-by will pick them up. I shall have to instigate a regular 'passion patrol' to make sure we pass by more often than anyone else and get at least a proportion of them. The two oldest fruits, which were actually inside the compound on older growth fell off yesterday, and Adia is incorporating them into fruit juice as I speak.

That's mostly what they're used for, that or jam. Even when they are fully ripe, and as sweet and full flavoured as they get, thy are still quite pungently acidic. This makes them ideal for blending with blander mangoes, papaya, and pineapple, and with bananas and carrot. The aim is to avoid added sugar.

Novel Breakfast.

1/1/11 - January 2011.

Once again we tried to discover where it was 'all happening' on New Year's Eve in Arusha, and failed. We went for a Chinese to start with, and then popped in at various places until about 22:30. There was nothing much happening, so we went home.

I didn't bother to stay up. There were no TV channels we get that would be likely to provide live coverage of the New Year anywhere. So like last year, the New Year came in with a snore rather than a bang.

So far we've had breakfast - I was quite amused by Adia's selection. When I've done this, I'm going to finish off a little table to put the gas stove on in the kitchen. We got a new stove some time ago, but since we have started feeding guests, and Adia has had to make quantities of ugali, she finds the stove on the worktop too high for the somewhat vigorous stirring that is required.

I have not fixed up the past years music links yet, since we were without power on the days when I would have done it. I'll try and get them fixed up over the next couple of days.

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Check out the BEV retrospective
currently covering 1942 - 1974.

1975 is WIP (work-in-progress).

What is BEV?

Brits Eye View is the personal blog of a 68 year old Englishman - Steve Teale, started in January 2003. It's currently about life in Arusha (Tanzania), and previously in Bangalore, Manhattan, and the Bronx. It deals with life in general, building a house, food and drink, computer programming, opinion on current affairs, 20th century history, and so on. It may give you some insight into what life is like in 'the third world', or encourage you to visit Tanzania.

I started playing with it in January 2003, when I was living in Manhattan. At the time I felt I was going nowhere, and exposing the details of my life could be no worse than not. Almost immediately I changed partners, and quickly recognized that while I might be prepared to live in a goldfish bowl, other's weren't.

The same year I lost my job - recession, exhausted my NY State unemployment benefits, and got a job in India. Consequently a large proportion of BEV was written in Bangalore. India was OK, but I could not see what I was going to do there when I retired.

This uncertainty was resolved when I met my current partner Adia in 2006. She was a Tanzanian, studying law in India, so I came Tanzania in 2007. Here we have built a house, and made new friends. The rest, you can read on BEV.

At about the same time I had the ridiculous idea of extending BEV backwards to cover the years 1942 to 2002. So far I have got to 1974. For the years 2003 - 2010, choose a year/month from the tool bar. For 1942 - 1974, choose a year.

Visiting Tanzania?

If you have done all the usual tourist destinations, then make a leap and discover Africa! Come and visit Arusha, Tanzania.

You might be able to stay at - a great centre for safaris to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Kilimanjaro, and of course our own pet volcano, Mount Meru.

Please feel free to contact us. We can tell you about hotels, facilities, prices of basics, etc.

We now have very pleasant bed and breakfast rooms available at $20 per night. The Old Cottage and the South House are also available for longer term visitors.

This Month's Posts

If there's something particular you'd like to go back to, just click it here

Top 20 BEV Pages.

Exchange Rates.

BEV Software Blog.

There are a couple of new items described on the current software blog post. The first is a site mapping script in PHP - this is what provides the new 'Site map' item on the BEV main menu.

There's also a rather convenient page that provides for translation of 'difficult' characters in computer code so that the result can be safely used in a web page.

Moods of Meru.

Mt Meru

Distant.

Random BEV Poem.

60 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- Patti Page: The Tennessee Waltz (a fixture in the charts)

50 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- Elvis Presley: Are You Lonesome Tonight? (comic version here)

- Bert Kaempfert: Wonderland By Night

- Shirelles: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

UK Chart number 1 (where different)

- Petula Clark: Sailor

40 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- George Harrison: My Sweet Lord

- Dawn: Knock Three Times

UK Chart number 1

- George Harrison: My Sweet Lord

30 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- John Lennon: Starting Over

- Blondie: The Tide Is High

UK Chart number 1

- John Lennon: Woman

20 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- Stevie B: Because I Love You

- Maddona: Justify My Love

- Janet Jackson: Love Will Never Do

The First Time - Surface
(no link found)

UK Chart number 1

- Iron Maiden: Bring Your Daughter

- KLF featuring The Children of The Revolution: 3AM Eternal

- Simpsons: Do The Bartman

- Queen: Innuendo

10 Years Ago - Hits of the Month.

US Billboard #1

- Destiny's Child: Independent Women Part 1

UK Chart number 1

- Rui Da Silva featuring Cassandra: Touch Me

- Jennifer Lopez: Love Don't Cost A Thing

- Limp Bizkit: Rollin'

Contact BEV.

If you want to get in touch outside the built-in comment system, email Steve Teale.